I have repeatedly been told by sales personal that they do not need to mark there deals sold because the system automatically does it. I have also heard this is why some customers are not logged.

This is on premise a horrible idea that you are relying on technology alone to give you one of your best contacts you will have.

I want you to consider something. This person liked you, the dealership, and the deal so much that they invested thousands of dollars with you. Would you not want to maintain contact with them for future sales? If you treated them right would they not help you get more business? After all they liked you enough to give you there business and if worked right they will give you more.

Here is the catch though....Lets say it is 2 years from today and that same customer comes back to the dealership. What have you done in that 2 years to warrant them doing business with you again? Have you called every 6 months because the system told you to...and in most cases you just left a message. Do you check with them how there vehicle is running and if they are coming in for there maintenance? Do you offer them coupons that you know we have in our service department to encourage them you are looking our for there best interests?

How about this....the reason for the email.....2 years later do you remember what they were going through in there lives that helped you relate to them? As simple as there kid was in school at a function and they had to go in a hurry to sign paperwork because they had something to go to? Maybe if you put in detailed notes not only would you have put that in the sale notes but you would have added the kids name....birthday....when they will be able to drive....spouses occupation there anniversary and there birthdays....do you have all that information?

Do you plan on working hard forever or do you want to make life easy for you in a short amount of time? You can literally put in a couple of years of hard work and be done taking fresh ups....I personally had 4 to 5 sales a month from referrals in 60 days. What can you do?

I do not know about you...but I found it much easier to work with people who referred me to business then to talk to a complete stranger....and the toughest stranger to sell is the one I already sold but I did not take the time to makes notes. So the customer realized I forgot about them.....Those customers are the sames ones who forget about us when it comes to our commission and usually just start with a new salesperson.

Work smarter not harder in 2013

Robert Hildreth

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Comment by Robert Hildreth on December 31, 2012 at 1:40pm

I spent a decade in sales before joining the auto industry and the message is clear Michael. If we sell the relationship the then the product versus trying to sell the product then ourselves one will be very successful while the other struggles through their career. Never understanding why it is so hard to make a great income.

The difference with the later is at least they will struggle...those who never make their unique service part of the deal will hate any form of selling altogether.

Comment by J. Michael Zak on December 31, 2012 at 10:51am

I knew a sales representative that was selling software products to Wall Street; typically not your overly friendly buddy-buddy group.  She averaged 107%-110% of her goal for 7+ years, why?  She sold relationships not product. She knew their family, likes, dislikes, hobbies, school affiliations, sports teams, etc.  Oh the product was outstanding so that helped greatly in the sale however her relationship building got her past the gatekeepers and deeper in the organization.  They also referred her to others in the organization and if they left and went to a similar business called her first.

The same principal can be applied in the B2C world.  We like to buy from the people we like.  True the product has to be reliable and the dealership has to understand the value of service or relationships will only go so far however I have seen examples were the vehicle was reliable and the dealership stood behind their product but because of personality clashes the customer decided to buy elsewhere the 2nd time.

Engage the customer and grow your base.

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